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US Homeland Security Secretary to Survey Tornado Response


Damaged cars are seen in the parking lot of Moore Hospital after a tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, May 20, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano travels to Oklahoma on Wednesday to assess recovery efforts in the city of Moore, where a devastating tornado killed at least 24 people and injured 240 others.

Napolitano's department includes the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has teams helping with search and recovery operations, damage assessments and providing federal aid to people affected by Monday's tornado.

The storm destroyed large parts of the central U.S. city with what weather officials say were winds of at least 322 kilometers per hour.

The town's fire chief says emergency workers will not stop searching for survivors and plan to go through the rubble of each building at least three times.

Related video story by Zlatica Hoke

President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in Oklahoma. He says the people of Moore are not standing alone, as they recover and rebuild.

Many people lost everything they owned, including pets. Quick-thinking teachers are credited with saving lives at an elementary school by hustling students into closets before the storm demolished the building.

Moore is a suburb of the state capital, Oklahoma City. Another powerful tornado struck the town in 1999.

Secretary Napolitano will travel later Wednesday to Joplin, Missouri, for a ceremony marking the second anniversary of a tornado there that killed 161 people. The May 22, 2011 tornado was the deadliest in the United States in six decades.

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